The Bedroom Challenge

A dreary weather day like today is a good time to paint an interior. Van Gogh, Bonnard, Howard Morgan, and many other artists painted their bedrooms and this is a challenge for you to follow in their footsteps. Choosing an interesting viewpoint is your first step. In this painting of a bedroom in Tuscany where I taught a workshop, the viewpoint is actually from laying on the bed. I wanted to show how the room looked when someone was waking up in the morning with sunlight coming in through the window. The room was bathed in a warm glow and I used the earth tones of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, raw sienna, and raw umber along with cobalt violet on the walls and floor. The different cool v

Sunbathing In February

The secret to sunbathing in February is taking a trip to the French Riviera. Doesn't that sound like a marvelous idea? I painted this while sitting on the beach in Nice on a beautiful warm sunny day. It was a painting trip that started in Nice, then I went down the Italian coast to Cinqueterre, then over to Venice. This small plein air painting is 6 x 8 inches. I like working in a small format when painting on location as this allows me to work quickly to capture the ever changing light. The setting was perfect with the azure blue water, white sand, and line of buildings along the peninsula. The umbrella's added nice bright colors and it was fun representing the sun bathers with littl

Shape Your Compositions

Last Friday I taught a one day workshop titled "The Art of Shape: Interpreting Your Subject Using Shapes" and I want to thank everyone that attended the workshop. Learning to see your subject matter in terms of simple shapes can set your composition and get you started painting with confidence. This plein air painting was done in one of the older neighborhoods in Taos New Mexico where I often take my annual workshop to paint. It is a dirt road right behind an old mission with several old adobe homes and we always find lots to paint. If you squint you can see the composition is divided into just a few simple shapes. The dirt road, adobe wall, adobe building and coyote fence make up one

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